Another Abandoned Factory
Traveling on the train, everything slightly blurred, you see it,
another abandoned factory, half boarded windows
and random bricks fallen from the walls, lying on the ground
like tiny coffins.
The windows are dark. Empty spaces. A bit of the roof has collapsed.
There is a tug at your heart as you pass it by. There are so many
of these in the corner of the world where you live,
where once there was industry and movement and making,
where towns were built, houses and families grown,
where trains stopped to load the fruit of labor
and carry them to the world.
Today, the train never slows.
The empty factory passes by. A blur. Most in the train never look up
while you stare out the window, and watch it disappear behind you.
Long after it is gone, you see it in your mind, the empty space
lit by broken windows,
The remnants machinery littering the floor. Signs
full or warning and promise on the walls where no one reads them.
likely a mattress of someone homeless, a temporary refuge
as they waste away,
less a sign of life than a reminder of all that is lost.
Your eyes become mist. You see this too often.
You have lived in your own life, the being left,
a life and soul more easily let go, or punished
for not being enough,
or sick, or broken, or lost, no longer worth redeeming.
a shell, the life that once filled you, left to bleed out,
the walking wounded, your soul homeless, unsure
if you will survive the season.
About this poem
Much of my work exposes me to the broken. Much of my wife’s work exposes her to the broken. It’s been an education for me, and at times my own memories haunt me.
That’s probably a good thing. That’s where compassion comes from. If we are lucky.
I have a weakness for old empty factories. This one is somewhere along the train line between Rutland, Vermont and New York City.
From those things, this poem.